Wednesday, February 24, 2010

World of Dogs

Well, I've made quite a crazy addition to our sofa in our sitting room. Maybe because Darling is away and I have spent SO much time with the Beags that my mindset is somewhat programmed into dog world. So when i was out sourcing fabric for clients my heart stopped when my beady eyes fell on this 'collection of dogs' fabric. I had that wonderful feeling when you see something and it makes your heart jump into throat because you know without a doubt you HAVE to have it. I adore the dead sureness of the whole thing, none of this thinking about it nonsense. It's that exhilarating happy but totally terrified feeling as you have yet to see the price tag. It's similar to gambling because you are either going to have the best luck and it be cheaper than you thought and you can do that 'I've won, I've won' dance or that absolutely gut wrenching experience when it is ten times more than you anticipated but regardless you still buy it and feel sick for a few days afterwards. This fabric was somewhere in between the two - so generally quite a pleasant shopping experience. I am still floating on that buyers high every time I walk into our sitting room I look at my purchase with a warm fuzzy feeling. it is very nice.

Spot the dog...........

I like that the cushions a re asymmetrical.

Also, couldn't believe how well it went with my already existing kantha quilt.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shanghai Express

Darling has had a wonderful time in Singapore and now he is in Bangkok. He called me in a flat panic to say that he has started his shopping part of his trip (a half hour) and that he is standing at the first stall of a never ending road of every conceivable item of clothing and accessories one can buy under the sun. My dream! I knew his level of stress and panic would warrant a phone call. Luckily I was one step ahead! I have learnt from his previous trips when Darling is left unaided what that can mean. He is very very good with consumable items such as Fortnum's biscuits, chocolate and perfume. He also made a hit with The 'Aspinal Ladies' Social Diary'
in powder blue. Luckily it is a hit he can continue with, so now it's become tradition that I get one every year in my stocking, it is a win win all round. However, one year I said I would like a gold clutch bag.(I didn't give specifics or brand) He said finding a gold clutch became the search for the holy grail, his 'raison d'etre' He came home empty handed. I realised that it was unfair of me to put Darling under that sort of torture. So, this time I gave more direction!

Shanghai Tang, Terminal 2, Singapore Changi Airport

Option 1. These beautiful silk pyjamas. In any colour except as shown above. Size Medium. Unless made for tiny Chinese girls then size XXL

Option 2: 'Double Fish' cotton voile tunic. Ref: 1H330z2 Col. mustard. NOT fuchsia
Size as mentioned previously
I can't wait to see what he gets me. Just as long as it's exotic and Eastern. I want to be like the sultry Marlene Dietrich in 'Shanghai Express' and walk around the house saying her famous line " It too-ook more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily"

How glamorous is this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentines Weekend

Well I had the most relaxing Valentines weekend. It's quite obvious I haven't been near my computer. Darling is in Singapore, so I packed my bags with Beags in tow and off we went to my parents. It was heaven. Sweet Darling left before Valentines Day, but he gave me the most beautiful bunch of lilies. Very good thing he remembered that I abhor red roses. The Beags decided that they wanted to take the flowers with them so here they are on my mum's desk....

Miss Bea asleep on an Indian quilt on her chosen chair. She is exhausted as has consumed:

1 x fly swatter (combined effort)

2 x oven gloves

1 x apron

(all the above she cannot be one hundred percent blamed for as there were no witnesses, but she was at the scene of the crime)
Chester, asleep on his chosen chair! Bare in mind they have never dared to sleep on the furniture in their own home. They really did an outstanding job of showing me up. He consumed:

1 x fly swatter

2 x oven mitts

1 x apron

1 x pair cycling sunglasses

1 x attempt at large kelim rug which has huge sentimental value

ALL flowers in the garden - he can't bear the sight of them. They make him totally incensed and all must be annihilated at once!

So apart from the dogets the weekend was OTHERWISE relaxing.

*A tip from Mr Manners to all men

Whether you've been married to the same person for 25 years or you've just started dating here is rule No. 1 on Valentines Day: It's all about her, not you.

* A note from Mrs Petiquette

Do NOT allow your dogs to try out other people's furniture like 'Goldilocks and the three bears' Their own blanket is 'just right'

Only bones are acceptable items to chew. Precious household items really aren't ideal - especially if they do not belong to the owner!

Try to encourage your dog to be the perfect house guest. Bad behaviour is never invited back.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ralph Lauren How Could You?

I have always been obsessed with the Ralph Lauren ad campaigns. I have collected them over the years. Of course I am now familiar with the various Ralph Lauren models. So, I could NOT believe when i saw the below image. This poor model Filippa Hamilton has been photoshopped within an inch of her life! She obviously is a human phenomenon that can survive with only two ribs she looks like Barbie in life size except for the long neck (you know how they're always banging on about what Barbie's proportions would be in real life) I can't get over this huge blip on the Ralph Lauren name. It made me sad and happy at the same time. Sad because my ultimate dream has been shattered with a lie and happy because oh hooray the relief! So you see, people aren't actually THAT thin in real life. Anyone can look super model thin with a click of a mouse. In fact, Ralph Lauren has actually just fired Filippa Hamilton for being too fat! So she claims, she says they fired her because she can no longer fit into the sample clothes. She has been with Ralph Lauren since she was fifteen.You will know her from the famous ad for Ralph Lauren's fragrance Romance. I think every young girl has covered her school books in this campaign. What a shame we will miss you Filippa.

Can you cope?

Another one of my favorites.

The classic Ralph Lauren shot.

Looking more normal in size and SO much more attractive.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spot the Difference!

It's always so fascinating to look back at photos of our projects before we began our work!
One often forgets how it looked before......

Not a very inspiring fireplace.

That's better.

Sad dining room.
A bit more inviting.
Painting the ceiling white and loosing all that 'sauna' wood really lifted the room. Installing white shutters and a lattice screen also gives the room that plantation indoor/outdoor living feel.

Depressing kitchen. Too dark

mmmmmm. What shall we do?

Loose the arch and install shutter doors with beautiful shiny panelled cupboards.

I love the thick white icing tops contrasting with the dark rich brown drawers.

Study cupboards quite sad.
Much better! Beautiful raw oak panelled bookshelf with British racing green backdrop. Comfortable worn leather wingback armchair.
Main bathroom needing 'something'

Yes, I think that will do it. White marble double basins with panelled mirrors with lights. The mirrors are open when you press them to reveal secret cupboards.

The new bath with white marble surround. We used the actual old bath but just boxed it in with, again, panelling! To layer it a bit more we did bamboo and fabric blinds.
The original bath. Is that actually a large gold lion's head sprouting water!

Dingy dressing room

Amazing what white paint can do.

Main bedroom with very low windows.

We increased the height of the windows to exaggerate the height of the ceilings and to maximise the view.

The guest bedroom, Very poky.

What an improvement. We opened up the space between the cupboards and lost the overhead cupboards to loose the claustrophobia!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Today I was rushing around like a mad thing and was so rewarded when at lunch time I came across a little jewel in the name of 'Superette' I have never seen it before. I am told that they have been open since last year and that they have featured in a lot of magazines. How can that be? I love magazines - how did I miss this wonderful thing? Anyway, it sounds like I'm definitely not the first person to discover it and the whole of Cape Town has been brunching here for months. I love the way it is so Notting Hilly - right in the middle of Salt River Main Road. It is done so cleverly and stylishly - attention to detail is unreal and so refreshingly original.

The super slick and simple awning was what first caught my eye.
Just so beautifully simple.

You see..... Notting Hilly

Delicious panini's piled up. Behind, the menu written on the shiny white (almost butcher type) tiles.
I love the casual, warm atmosphere.

I love the napkins.
Very clever really, even a coat rack for yes, your coat!

You help yourself to a drink from the old school fridge.

Couldn't believe my eyes when I opened the fridge - the old school continued with old fashioned bottles of ginger beer, root beer, lemonade and cream soda! Cream soda for heaven's sake! It was quite tricky deciding

I went with the old style root beer. Must say it tasted a bit like a large glass of Wicks bubblegum - which is quite a good thing.

My food was absolutely delicious. I even had a purple plum tomato.

They also stock the most unique products. Who needs Whole Foods.

My heart stopped - honestly? Chestnut Spread. Can't cope. I think I might just have to make macaroons in order to fill them with this! Although my one and only attempt at macaroons was not successful.
Am so sad as in my mad rushing I forgot to buy a bag of these delicious biscuits. Dammit. Wish I was dunking away right now. I will have to go back!